We will start our Arctic Ocean adventure in Iceland! Imagine diving in a fissure in the Earth’s crust, the separation point between two continental plates, flooded with decades old glacial melt water filtered through 50 miles of lava stone to produce the purest, clearest water on Earth. This is Silfra, one of the most awe-inspiring dives on the unique island of Iceland. Geologically active with hundreds of volcanoes, Iceland presents unique opportunities and challenges for divers. Join DUI as we visit Silfra, and then journey on to dive Strytan, the only diveable hydrothermal vent in the world. While on expedition, we will also explore geothermal rivers and photograph the colorful marine life that inhabits these mysterious waters.
This unique diving tour of Iceland combines dazzling underwater experiences and breathtaking land excursions. Besides diving, exploring Iceland means visiting thundering waterfalls, explosive geysers, active fumaroles, massive glaciers, relaxing hot water springs and rarely seen lava fields.
Our explorations will take us from the capital of Rekyavik to the port city of Akureyri where we will meet our vessel, Plancius for the 2nd part of our great adventure.
The Plancius – Oceanographic Research Vessel
Greenland: The world’s largest island that is not considered a continent unto itself. Belonging to the kingdom of Denmark but run independently, we will meet a world where European culture meshes with that of the Inuit in a harsh but beautiful landscape of ice, rock and sea. Greenland or “Kalaallit Nunaat” (Land of the People) in the local language is a place of extremes.
Greenland is dominated by the second largest ice-sheet in the world after Antarctica. Although huge in size, it is inhabited by less than 100,000 people with the majority being Inuit, the indigenous people of the Arctic. In addition to the many outdoor activities including diving, snorkeling, zodiac cruising and hiking, we will have the opportunity to explore local villages and follow in the footsteps of Vikings. The scenic vistas from the ridgetops and glaciers are truly unbelievable so we highly recommend divers taking the time to participate in some of the hikes.
Despite the restricted access to land due to the ice sheet, Greenland sports a diverse array of wildlife above and below the water. The wildlife in Greenland is elusive given the starkness of the landscape and generations of hunting. However, birds abound and land mammals enjoy the northern and eastern shores of the island including the arctic fox and hare, reindeer, and musk oxen and polar bears. The waters around the island abound the island with dolphins, seals, orcas, narwhals, minkes, humpbacks, and finback whales to name just a few. We hope to see them during our crossing of the Denmark Strait. Divers can expect to dive around the largest icebergs in the world and enjoy good visibility for incredible photography. This is also a great opportunity for snorkelers who can share in the joy of standing on your own iceberg. We will also search for the elusive Greenland shark!
• Accommodations aboard the Plancius, Oceanside Expedition’s ﬂagship. This 287 foot vessel was completely renovated in 2010 and is well setup for diving!
• Hotel accommodations for 7 nights in Iceland – 2 nights in Rekjyavik and 5 nights in Akureyri based on double occupancy
• All meals aboard the ship; including snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Breakfasts are included in Iceland as well as Welcome Dinner on the 1st night. Average lunch and dinner cost in Iceland $80/day.
• Diving (usually 2 dives/day) tanks and weights. As this will be a diving oriented trip, the ship will have extra dive staﬀ to ensure a great experience. In Iceland, we will hit all the “hot” spots including Sifra, the hydrothermal lake and vents and French Gardens amongst others.
• All land based activities with the exception of specialized photo classes aboard the ship. This includes all land tours in Iceland including lava tube exploration and hiking on lava ﬁelds and waterfalls.
Not included: Airfare, lunch and dinner in Iceland, fuel surcharges and gratuities. Dive and travel insurance is required and trip insurance is highly recommended